Everyone loves to eat. Over 20 years as shops change up the road, many new ones are for food and drink. Food is a social lubricant. As we eat together we relax and chat and build relationships.
Jesus had a reputation for eating out, and drinking! His stories reflect his way of life – gregarious. And a congregation is to be gregarious.
I’m glad Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is like a banquet. It makes it sound attractive. What banquets have we been to? wedding feasts? Did you ever refuse to attend a banquet? – twice? A second refusal was a great snub. No wonder the king got really mad. Then he got even! He decides to make the banquet open to everyone. like open day at the residence of the governor: People queue up!
What does the story mean? God’s love is universal // Deut. 10:17f. But there are three kinds of response in the story. a) Some religious leaders refused to attend his party, unable to relinquish. They wanted to retain the rules and their position.
Others grasped the opportunity and treated it respectfully. But the third group treated the invitation too lightly. They were unexpectedly excommunicated. Where do I fit in this? With a life time in the faith am I liable to take it for granted?
The parable of sheep and goats is a challenge to everyone who is religious. ‘Not every one who calls me Lord........ depart from me, I never knew you.’ They were not divided by belief, let alone their belief in the Lord. They were evaluated by their care for the needy. Eg the Progressive Atheists visited Broadmeadow Detention Centre and saved Tonoy. It seems it is not how we come to the ‘banquet’ eg to church, but how we go out from the banquet. So make yourself at home here at Habitat.
Taste and see. Enjoy the nourishing banquet of Habitat for Spirituality. But feed your spirit for the real effort of following the Way of Jesus in the real world.